The ideal sustainable future is one where anybody can reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible. But the nuts and bolts of executing this dream can be complicated, involving complex supply chains and logistical feats. Most of all, we fear that companies are simply talking CSR, without doing any CSR – and want to know who to trust.
That’s why TRECs.ai is here for. It does this by making their sustainability commitment transparent and trustworthy with its Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) available on its proprietary platform (REHash) powered by block chain technology and artificial intelligence.
CEO Jen Wee spoke with us on the integral step in a more transparent, environmentally-friendly corporate environment.
Let’s dive in. What are RECs and how do they work?
In a nutshell, RECs are used to track and validate the production of 1 MWh (megawatt hour) of renewable energy by any renewable source (Solar, Hydro, Wind).
Traditionally, solar panels were installed on roofs, minimising dependency on the electricity grid and reducing CO2 emissions. However, roof space is limited – so an organisation rarely can claim to be 100% powered by the solar energy it harvested.
But good news! There is an existing framework practiced globally enabling you as the consumer to “use” renewable energy without physically harvesting and then consuming it. With every 1MWh of “dirty” energy you consume, you can purchase 1MWh of renewable energy (represented by a REC) produced in another location.
Using this framework, you can be 100% carbon neutral in your consumption.
TRECs.ai is credited with “democratising” this market. How is it doing this?
The traditional RECs market was restricted to big buyers and big sellers via brokers. Smaller buyers and sellers were hence unable to enter this market due to their size.
T-RECs.ai’s REHash marketplace allows small sellers to register assets at a fraction of the cost due to the technology we deploy. Being a trading platform with our proprietary matching engine, we are able to match any volume of buy/sell orders. In this way, we democratise the RECs market by enabling everyone to be able to participate.
So with TRECs.ai’s platform, any player can enter the clean energy market. How does this support sustainability?
Essentially, an REC is a statement that declares a company’s carbon-free status. So this naturally leads to issues of claiming and reporting.
The solution is to make the entire transaction flow of REC from generation to retirement 100% transparent. In this way, there is zero chance that there will be fraudulent claims and green-washing, like how many oil and gas companies are challenged when purchasing carbon credits that are not tracked.
That clearly shows how vital transparency is in the sustainability market. Where do you see TRECs.ai going from here?
We have built really good momentum and have onboarded very strong global clients to our platform. We expect to see very strong demand within the next 12 months, and are positive about achieving our goal to be Asia largest RECs trading marketplace within 3 years.
On a broader level, what does a “Sustainable Singapore” mean to you?
Singapore is very small, and our overall carbon emissions is low as compared to many parts of Asia since we are burning gas instead of coal.
Hence, we should be taking the lead in supporting our neighbours (with our technology and knowhow) and helping them to reduce emissions. This should include building solar power plants in our neighbour countries, instead of only focusing on our homeland, which is so, so small.
CO2 is not a Singapore thing. A CO2 molecule produced travels around the world in 7 days, so our perspectives should be larger and wider!
But why concentrate on energy sustainability, when there are many other issues plaguing us?
I am not in a position to determine which issues are more important than the other, since everyone looks at things differently.
All I can say is that energy sustainability must be paid the appropriate attention as it has already been shown to have a very clear impact on the current generation. It’s not next-generation issue anymore. If we don’t solve it now, we face the consequences.
What would you say to convince someone that they should adopt a more sustainable lifestyle?
It’s about getting into the know. Read more. Listen more. Observe more.
Then, there’s no need for me to convince you, since the evidence shows so clearly that we should start leading a sustainable lifestyle today, so we can even still have a life tomorrow.
Background photo created by jannoon028 – www.freepik.com